tv Political Capital With Al Hunt Bloomberg May 31, 2014 12:00am-12:31am EDT
>> this week on "political capital" -- nancy pelosi on benghazi and immigration. >> they would test an immigration bill. -- pass an an immigration bill. >> peter roskam on ukraine and the select benghazi committee. obama's big week and margaret carlson and megan mcardle debate guns. we begin the program with the house democratic leader nancy pelosi of california. thank you for being with us. the president accepted the resignation of eric shinseki who
you have highly praised and said the problems run much deeper than that. do you have any sense of who you would like to see replace him? >> someone who would get confirmed very quickly. that would be very important. before going on to what is next, i want to say how much i do admire secretary shinseki. he is a great patriotic american. as they say in the military and on the battlefield, we leave no soldier behind and when they come home, that is a pledge that the secretary kept as a general and as a secretary. >> when you say someone who would be quickly confirmed, is there any name that comes up in mind or any type? >> management. it would be useful to have someone who has an understanding of what the challenges are. some of the challenges relate to the delivery of health care and that is one piece of it. the other is a simple fact that
it is very hard to have a capacity for 2 million more veterans in the past five years as a result of the iraq and afghan conflicts. >> you are looking for an experienced manager? >> somebody who can come in as part of the management team that says this is how we do it in the private sector. this is how we manage scheduling and lines. getting people to where they need to be for their appointment. i know that sounds simple, but that is the biggest part of the problem. facilitating access. >> let me turn to the benghazi select committee. you have appointed your members. have the republicans given you any of procedural protections and guarantees that you asked for?
>> no guarantee of those, but one of the reasons i decided in spite of that to go forward is that it seems to me they were going to be doing a great deal of their investigating without any transparency. they're going to call witnesses. hillary clinton can handle herself. john kerry -- i have no concern about being there to defend or help our witnesses. what i was learning in the course of my conversations with the speaker and what i was hearing from other members is that they were going to be interviewing witnesses that we don't even know about. they would be accessing documents that we would not have any access to ourselves. with no guarantee even of a concurrence on the subpoena or issues that relate to witnesses and documents -- it was probably in light of their keeping everything in the dark that we should be there is what we have to do.
we have to shine a bright light. the american people have been there. all of the purpose of the resolution to establish committee has been accomplished. >> do you think the purpose of the republicans is to get hillary clinton? >> no. house republicans are not about presidential. if they cared about the presidential race, they would pass an immigration bill. this is about trying to distract people. we should be talking about job creation. >> this is about '14, not '16? >> absolutely. they are trying to make it look as if everything has not been on the level and therefore it refers to the democrats rather than '16. this is all about now. the american people want to know how we are going to create jobs, create growth. that is one of the reasons why they are not going public because i think the public show
is something that people have been there and done that. whatever they try to concoct, some kind of scheme of hiding information, they would do behind closed doors. >> you mentioned immigration. the republicans cannot pass an immigration bill in the house without support from democrats. have they reached out to you recently at all about this? what do you think of the odds they will get something done by august? >> i reach out to them on a regular basis on this because all we need are about 20 republican votes. why don't you do what you did for the debt ceiling? remember when they were going to default? >> what did he say when you said it? >> just bring it up. 199 republicans voted to default on the full faith and credit of the united states. we will take that same formula. we will take 28. >> do you have them? >> i keep trying and i try to be optimistic. i believe the speaker has good
intentions. we have said any way you want to do it. small pieces, over time. time -- we're losing time now and i am concerned that if we don't have something scheduled in june for a hearing or to be on the floor, it is not going to be possible. >> it has to be scheduled by june at least? >> whenever they would take it. >> let me turn to one or two foreign-policy questions. >> it has to be scheduled by june at least? >> whenever they would take it. >> let me turn to one or two foreign-policy questions. >> great economic issue. it reduces the deficit. it increases the gdp. it is a plus. it is a business case to be made for immigration separate from every other value that we have as a country that we would want to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
>> you have followed china closely for years. the justice department indicted five chinese military operatives last week, but they are not going to come to trial. all these years about talking about cyber spying by the chinese, is it time for congress to do something? >> that is something the executive branch can do as well. but, i will tell you, it will be 25 years since tiananmen. we have had some disturbances here already in anticipation. it is remarkable to see how resistant the u.s. is for any kind of economic sanction or action. it would be important, but i don't think it will happen. >> you will be for it, but don't think the administration would be?
>> i hope they would be. experience has told us over 25 years that we still haven't got a counting of the prisoners that were arrested in tiananmen square 25 years ago. they are still working with us to try to get those names revealed. they have not responded to any leverage that we think we may have. what you suggest is a good idea. i don't know if the administration has thought of that, but it is certainly something that they have put forth in terms of a first step in russian sanctions. not to be considered a first step in chinese sanctions, but a step that has its own value. >> thank you very much for being with us. when we come back, we will talk to the chief republican deputy whip in the house, peter roskam. ♪
>> welcome back. joining us is chief deputy whip of the house and the newly appointed member of the house benghazi select committee, congressman peter roskam of illinois. you returned from ukraine where you were an election observer. what is your assessment of what is going to happen over the next month and your take on the new ukrainian president?
>> ukrainian voters that i spoke to, some of them were making a strategic decision. they made a decision to vote for the front runner in order to get a president and get a president quickly. they recognize there is three weeks of vulnerability if they had to wait for another election. >> do you think he can deal with putin? >> i was impressed with him in the interactions i have had. he made a couple of points. he said their biggest issue is security and he is looking to the west as it relates to that. he said they have an economic problem. they are going to have a diminished gdp and their problem is transparency and dealing with corruption in government. he has a plan to essentially embed western observers and auditors throughout the
government in order to move forward. on russia, he made two points. they are not going to negotiate in terms of the legitimacy of the russian annexation of crimea and that will largely be litigated in international forums. he also said they were not willing to compromise on their economic tilt to the west. he was very declarative about that. he said, i am willing to negotiate with putin. there was a level of confidence he had. he wasn't cavalier. there was a level of competence that he had about knowing who he was, what the country's strength and weaknesses were. >> if putin does really stay bad, gets worse, you and others have said we have to really ratchet up the sanctions and make it more uncomfortable. with the way the iranian sanctions cut, we told companies
you can do business in the united states or iran, you cannot do both. should we tell american companies to get out of russia? >> we should be doing that with iran, but that is a whole different question. what needs to happen is there has got to be a gradation. we want putin to be standing down and receding. his view, in my opinion, is that he wants an unstable ukraine and that maybe his whole goal in this. just instability. >> let me ask you about the benghazi select committee which we mentioned. you are a member of that. at the same time, darrell issa has subpoenaed john kerry to testify before the house oversight committee. i thought that is what the select committee was supposed to be doing. >> that is what the select committee is supposed to be doing. in my understanding, it has largely been reconciled.
>> kerry would not go before the oversight committee? >> the benghazi select committee will be dealing exclusively with these jurisdictional questions in the house. i think that was more of a procedural snafu than anything. >> here is a tragedy. four people died, but there has been a dozen congressional hearings, five reports, 25,000 pages of depositions. what this really is is a rough up hillary clinton exercise, a lot of people say. >> i don't think that is true. when i asked the speaker what he was trying to accomplish, he said i want the facts out. i got a phone call from a family member who asked me the same question and i explained -- we ask american citizens as diplomats to go and do dangerous things in dangerous places. the understanding is they are willing to do that and if they get in trouble, there is a certainty that the united states is going to come and rescue them.
they may be rescued and may not but the diplomat has the certainty of knowing there are people on the way. >> you don't that has been covered with all these hearings and reports -- >> i think the way in which the administration has approached this is it leaves this sense of drip, drip, drip of information. >> what new do you think you could discover as it relates to secretary clinton? >> i don't know. the committee is going to keep the ball on the ground and is going to be a fact-based exercised. it is largely going to be depositions and documents work. >> how long do you think it will take? >> i think the administration is in control of that. if they come quickly, we can dispose of it. >> would you plan to subpoena secretary clinton? >> that decision will be made at some point. >> what is your view? >> i hope it is not necessary to issue a subpoena. >> would you want to talk to her?
>> by all means. >> republicans have voted 50 times to kill the affordable care act. yet, 8 million people have signed up for it. the insurance companies now say they're optimistic that it is going to be good next year and in the future. it seems to be for all the problems that is woven into the american economic and social fabric. show the republicans get rid of this idea of killing it and focus on ways to improve it? >> your optimism is not shared by my constituents. i am dealing with people who were told by the president that if they like their coverage they can keep it. that has not turned out to be true. they were told their costs would
be down. the insurance companies are making out like bandits. what a great business to be in where you are forced to buy a product that somebody else sells. i am not surprised insurance carriers are happy. >> do you think the republicans should stay focused on repealing it and not changing it? >> they are not mutually exclusive. the silver lining about this debate is that there is no ambiguity about who is defending obamacare and who wants to replace it with something else. my view is based on where the polls are looking right now, i think the country will have the last word. they are very concerned about it and i think the midterm elections are going to be a repudiation of the health care law as opposed to putting -- >> thank you for being with us. president obama makes a major decision in afghanistan and margaret carlson and megan mcardle debate changes to gun law. we will be right back. ♪
>> welcome back. bloomberg white house supporter margaret dowd is here to talk about the president's big week. one was the speech to the graduates of the united states military academy. he was going to lay out a obama doctrine of foreign policy. he didn't really succeed, did he? >> he keeps trying to lay out the foreign-policy doctrine and it is hard for him to explain because it is a complex policy. it is classic obama. i am not an interventionist, but i am not doing nothing and that is what he was trying to articulate. >> do you think he achieved it at west point? >> it didn't really seem like that was the consensus. they're going to look more
towards the military but not for conventional wars. they are going to work more with neighboring countries outside of these hotspots like syria. partly because it is still covert and he needs congressional approval. it is a nuanced message so it is hard for him to articulate. >> how about afghanistan? he said troops were going to be gone not 2014, but 2016. >> he gave the pentagon what they wanted which was a guarantee of 10,000 troops after combat end, but only after a year. after that it goes down by 50% and the year after that he expects to be out. a lot of critics were frustrated by broadcasting a timetable. obama is saying is more important for allies and the afghans to know when our commitment is really done. >> are there differences within the administration? do you see any of that or is it all pretty much vanilla?
>> we have known about this classic john kerry-samantha power faction. you do see some divisions about how much to broadcast about the strategy and how quickly to move. that does probably explains some of the muddiness. >> obama is off for europe next week. are we going to see an obama-putin meeting? >> i think so. we will at least a handshake. they haven't wanted to look weak. they do want to be internationalists and multilateralists and make the most of this opportunity to try and come down on the unrest and uncertainties. >> they will both have to work really hard to exude that. >> to contain how much they like each other, that is right. >> there is no love lost.
let me turn to margaret and megan. there was another mass killing at the university of california santa barbara. he killed students, six of them, with a semi-automatic handgun. another horrible story -- will it affect the gun-control debate? >> i don't think so. half of the people he killed were stabbed to death, not shot. that raises the question if we are going to take our knives away as well. where does it stop? the supreme court has ruled on this. you cannot ban guns and short of that, formulating really effective policies. it is hard to see how you do that. there might some movement on background checks -- mental health exceptions. you get into tangling with the mental health community. the patients' advocates get upset when you suggest separate categories for those people. >> they may take some comfort
that only half of them were killed by guns. justice scalia has said there should be restrictions on guns. it is treated as an absolute right by the nra. they have pretty much had their way because it is one of the richest lobbies. we cannot do anything now. that is a real problem. when you hear the cry from the heart of this parent, you say wait a minute. what kind of society are we living in when in georgia people are packing guns everywhere they go thanks to new laws. conceled weapons, carry permits in bars, parks, everywhere you can think of. the nra's response is they may
not have been killed if they too were carrying guns. they are longing for a wild west society. >> the ftc transparency on data brokers. what should the ftc do and does it affect us? >> they like to tell us how we are categorized as wild motorcycle riders. conservative granola eaters. the ftc said, let's have congress do something about this massive amount of data that the data brokers have on us. it is not to protect us from terrorists, it is commercial reasons, to sell us stuff. the ftc has the power. they can have an opt out. they should throw the book at data brokers. >> i am a proud member of the conservative granola members of america. i am not ashamed. the nsa is free to come and look at my granola any time. there are questions about transparency. people feel like they don't have control over what facebook does with their data. these regulations often tend to be overbroad.
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